The Wall Street Journal:
Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous detective. And while he may be fictional, in that fictional world of his he also happens to be the greatest: success follows upon success, the biggest scoundrels fall under his careful scrutiny, the world bends to his will. How easy it would be for the master sleuth to rest on his laurels—or at the least, to keep taking those cases that have a familiar air, that would be more likely than not to guarantee a quick, successful outcome. But he doesn’t. In fact, he does the opposite.
Consider, for instance, “The Adventure of the Red Circle,” when Holmes chooses to enmesh himself further in a case which he has ostensibly solved. “What have you got to gain from it?” Dr. Watson asks him, in apparent disbelief. “What, indeed?” responds Holmes. “Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last. This is an instructive case.” And in that willingness—that drive, even—to keep going beyond the easy choice, to keep challenging himself to ever-greater heights, to pursue a case in which lies “neither money nor credit” lies both Holmes’s secret and the thing that distinguishes him from many another one-time success story.
Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal